/publications/issue/2007/2007-09/2007-09-6749

GRAND JURY INDICTS INTERNET PHARMACISTS ON Rx RACKETEERING CHARGES

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Two pharmacists and a pharmacy owner were among 18 individuals indicted by a federal grand jury on racketeering charges associated with illegal sales of prescription drugs on the Internet.

Operating as an online pharmaceutical distribution network known as Affpower throughout the United States and abroad, the defendants allegedly generated >$126 million in illegal online Rx sales. The sophisticated operation?which also involved several physicians, a creditcard processor, and 2 individuals responsible for recruiting pharmacists and doctors into the scheme?received >1 million Internet orders for controlled and noncontrolled prescription pharmaceuticals from customers in all 50 states, said Justice Department prosecutors.

In addition to the racketeering charges, the Internet pharmacists were charged with mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the dispensing of misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead.